Family support worker

Family support workers help and advise families with long or short-term difficulties.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become a family support worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


You could do a:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More information


You could complete a children, young people and families practitioner higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More information

Volunteering and experience

Experience is essential when applying for training or jobs. You can get this through paid or voluntary work in:

  • children's homes
  • nurseries
  • family refuge centres
  • probation services
  • family community centres
  • mental health services
  • youth projects

Direct application

Employers will expect you to have:

  • experience in working with children, young people and their families
  • a minimum of a level 3 qualification in childcare, social work, social care, counselling, youth work or education

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in support work from Think Care Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to understand people‚Äôs reactions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

For many roles you may be expected to have a full, clean driving licence.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • working with people who have drug or alcohol addiction
  • supporting a parent in hospital or prison
  • supporting clients who are experiencing marital or financial difficulties
  • supporting a child or parent with a disability
  • being present at court sessions dealing with care orders for children
  • working with social workers to assess a family's needs when a child returns home after being in care
  • supporting people with language barriers who are struggling to access services
  • developing a client’s parenting and home management skills

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a client's home or in a court.

Career path and progression

With experience and qualifications you could focus on a particular area, like working with people with disabilities.

You could also progress to team leader (managing a group of support workers) or become an assistant manager of a family centre or refuge.

Experience in family support may help if you want to move into social work.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Early Years Educator Level 3

  • Wage : £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Derby DE24 0PA

Level 3 - Lead Adult Care Worker Apprentice

  • Wage : £145.50 Weekly
  • Location: Weston-Super-Mare BS23 2QT

Courses In England

Health & Social Care (Diploma)

  • Provider: The Cotswold Academy
  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Cheltenham

Health and Social Care - Diploma

  • Provider: Hartismere School
  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Eye

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